Crimea became a part of Russia on the day of peninsula's heavenly protector

Russian President Vladimir Putin, the State Council Chairman, Crimean Parliament Chairman Vladimir Konstantinov, Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksionov and the city of Sevastopol executive Alexey Chaly have signed an agreement on the inclusion of Crimea, including Sevastopol, into Russia on the day when the Orthodox Church commemorates the finding of the relics of the peninsula heavenly protector Archbishop Luka (Voyno-Yasenetsky).

On these days all churches and monasteries of the Crimean Diocese uplifted prayers before the icon of Archbishop Luka for multiplying love and peace on the peninsula.

Archbishop Luka (born Valentin Felixovich Voyno-Yasenetsky) was born in Kerch in 1877. After graduation from the higher school he decided that he should be involved only the activities “useful for suffering people,” and chose medicine and later became a priest.

The feast of Saint Gerasimus of the Jordan

On Monday, the 4th/17th of March 2014, the memory of St Gerasimus of the Jordan was celebrated by the Patriarchate at the Monastery founded by him in the desert of the West Bank of the river Jordan.

The monastery was founded by HosiosGerasimus in 451 AD, after he arrived to the Holy Land from his birthplace of Lycia in Asia Minor, and after having dwelt in Monasteries and hermitages of Palestine with HosiosEuthymius the Great and HosiosKyriakos the Recluse.

Metropolitan Onufry of Chernovtsy and Bukovina becomes a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church

At the session that took place on March 19 and was chaired by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, the Holy Synod resolved to make Metropolitan Onufry of Chernovtsy and Bukovina a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church for the time of his office of Locum Tenens of the Kievan Metropolitan See.

Members of the Holy Synod offered up prayers for the health of His Beatitude Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine.

Russian Church opens the first monastery in Ingushetia

The Holy Synod of the Russian Church at its session on Wednesday approved of Bishop of Makhachkala and Grozny Varlaam’s initiative to open the New Sinai Monastery in the Stanitsa of Ordzhonikidzevskaya (Sleptsovskaya) in Ingushetia.

Bishop Varlaam is appointed the hegumen of the convent – the only one set up in the Makhachkala Diocese, which was established in late 2012. This diocese works not only in Ingushetia, but also in Dagestan and Chechnya.

Ancient church robbed in Belarus

Unidentified persons have robbed the Church of Holy Martyr Parasceva in the Mesyatichi village of Pinsk district, between 12.00 of March 14 and 15.00 of March 15, reportsTelegraf.by.

Breaking off the lock of the entrance door and damaging the inner door, they stole five icons, two Gospels, and one silver chalice.

A criminal case has been initiated (section 1 of article 205, the penal code of Belarus: "A covert larceny", which stipulates up to three years of imprisonment), reported the Directorate of Internal Affairs of the Brest regional executive committee.

According to earlier reports of Telegraf, in the village of Chersk of the Brest district unidentified persons had robbed St. Michael's Church, built in the 17th century. According to the church rector, robbers between 16.00 of August 4 and 07.00 of August 5 2012 forced the lock of the storage room, stole 13 icons, one Gospel, a wooden crucifix, 10 bottles of communion wine, a brocade cloth, a paten and chalice veil and 37,000 rubles from the church.